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Grand Prix Final Thoughts and Results: Ladies and Pairs Free Skates

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Pairs

Shen and Zhao, China: Amazing. Although if I am nitpicking, their side by side spins were in different time zones. But, I will not pick against them again! They just do everything the best.

Pang and Tong, China: Hand down on the side by side triple toes. Still, this program is great and this pair skates like they belong here, unlike Zhang and Zhang. Great job moving up to silver.

Mukhortova and Trankov, Russia : Everything was so nice until their spins were a bit out of wack.

Savchenko and Szolkowy, Germany: Ack, right off the top she flies out of that triple toe. Not a good start to a subpar program. They were both a little bit off. This performance has made the pairs event a whole lot less interesting at the Olympics-Shen and Zhao would seem the overwhelming favorites for sure.

Kavaguti and Smirnov, Russia: This was fine but not a great performance. I'm surprised how much of an afterthought they were at this competition.

Zhang and Zhang, China: she had a hand down on those side by side triples and throw triple salchow, and then that fall on the throw triple loop. They are just not looking very dynamic for some reason.

Results:

FPl. Name Nat. Points SP FS
1 Xue SHEN / Hongbo ZHAO CHN 214.25 1 1
2 Qing PANG / Jian TONG CHN 201.86 4 2
3 Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWY GER 200.38 2 4
4 Maria MUKHORTOVA / Maxim TRANKOV RUS 198.35 3 3
5 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 183.01 6 5
6 Dan ZHANG / Hao ZHANG CHN 180.25 5 6

Ladies

Yu-na Kim, South Korea: Another imperfect performance from Kim. Obviously much stronger than at Skate America.

Miki Ando, Japan: This was a good skate but you can see all sorts of tiny deductions in Ando's jumping and I'm sure that affected her. It made me sad to watch her in the Kiss and Cry because she appeared to think she had a chance but Kim did not make enough mistakes today.

Akiko Suzuki, Japan: Fabulous Suzuki, and it was so clean! She was lovely as she had been earlier in the season and it was great to see her jump from last to the bronze medal.

Ashley Wagner, USA: For Wagner to come in fourth here was not bad at all, and she did a great job in the free skate. Still, she gives away enough downgrades and edge deductions for me to think she's still going to have to perform her heart out at nationals to make that Olympic team.

Joannie Rochette, Canada: Just a sad state of affairs. All popped jumps and sloppy landings. I don't think there are even excuses because although this competition was the worst, she hasn't looked good at all this year. Perhaps she needs to speak with the sports psychologist more...she is just giving medals away.

Alena Leonova, Russia: It was like someone turned the lightbulb off. The spark was completely gone and she didn't even look happy! So many errors, it was not a great performance. But I think the ground she broke in getting here and starting out from third place after the short is not going to be wasted by one performance like this.

Results:

FPl. Name Nat. Points SP FS
1 Yu-Na KIM KOR 188.86 2 1
2 Miki ANDO JPN 185.94 1 2
3 Akiko SUZUKI JPN 174.00 5 3
4 Ashley WAGNER USA 162.07 6 4
5 Joannie ROCHETTE CAN 156.71 4 5
6 Alena LEONOVA RUS 156.55 3 6